I'm a CFE

Deshietha Partee-Grier, CFE

Assistant Vice President - Financial Crime Investigations Unit at Deutsche Bank

Deshietha Partee-Grier, CFE, says she lives by an Eleanor Roosevelt quote: “Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.” Deshietha loves discussing ideas and the interplay among her colleagues as they fight money laundering and other types of financial crime. But work isn’t sufficient for her. She mentors high school girls when she’s not nurturing her five children with her husband and working on an MBA.

I was born in Chicago, Illinois, and raised in Columbus, Ohio. Growing up I enjoyed drawing, playing sports — basketball, volleyball and track — acting, writing plays and poetry, and volunteering for youth programs. I wanted to be a mathematician, I also wanted to start my own school and own a business.

I started my undergraduate studies at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia, and went on to finish my degree in economics at The Ohio State University. Spelman College embodied a sisterhood as an all-female HBCU [Historically Black College and Universities]. I developed strong relationships and an understanding of my obligation to be an intellectual, creative and ethical leader. At The Ohio State University there was a strong sense of community and diversity that I loved as well. The school spirit brings everyone together regardless of differences.

In my position at Deutsche Bank, I lead a team of anti-money laundering analysts and associates in conducting investigations of international correspondent banking transactions — those between banks globally.

I was seeking an opportunity within banking that would have a greater impact on the business and our clients, after working in the mortgage line of business, when I discovered an excellent, intriguing opportunity in Bank Secrecy Act/anti-money laundering [AML] regulatory review for U.S. Bank. I championed a variety of business-critical initiatives for the prepaid cards’ business line while leading a team of fraud and AML analysts in Jacksonville, Florida, and Minneapolis, Minnesota. The impact that we had on fighting fraud and protecting the business, our clients and external victims of crime was more than fulfilling — it was truly rewarding. What we were doing in our investigations helped to fight negative macroeconomic impacts on our society, terrorist financing and human trafficking. From there, I was locked in to fighting fraud for life. I went on to lead teams in fighting fraud at VyStar Credit Union and now within financial crime investigations at Deutsche Bank.

When I started working in the industry, I immediately sought resources that would help me build onto my knowledge about how to detect and mitigate fraud in banking. The ACFE was the first resource that I found.

When I started working in the industry, I immediately sought resources that would help me build onto my knowledge about how to detect and mitigate fraud in banking. The ACFE was the first resource that I found. Once I learned about the resources that the ACFE offered, including the CFE credential, I knew I needed to study to become a CFE to have the necessary knowledge to do the best job possible in fighting fraud.

The CFE credential has allowed me to be identified as someone who takes fighting fraud seriously and has the appropriate knowledge to lead others in the fight.

If you’re a budding fraud examiner — and even if you’re not — join your local ACFE chapter to gain up-to-date knowledge and training in the industry. You’ll also have the opportunity to network with professionals who’ll help you get off to a great start. Plan to obtain your CFE credential early on and stay current on industry trends and techniques.

Being the president of, and being involved with, the Jacksonville Chapter of the ACFE helps me learn industry trends and techniques to fight fraud and help other fraud-fighting professionals do the same. Educated professionals provide prevention and protection for our communities. I love observing the sparks in our members’ eyes during our training sessions when they learn new information and they become excited about putting what they have learned into action.

I remain very passionate about youth and the community. I mentor young high school ladies through two programs: Take Stock in Children and The United Way. One of my mentees graduated as the valedictorian of her class, and another was the first in her family to attend college after graduation. All of my remaining time is dedicated to my lovely husband and our exuberant five children — all of whom are my greatest rewards in life and who I continue to strive to be the best for.

Emily Primeaux, CFE, is assistant editor of Fraud Magazine. Her email address is: eprimeaux@ACFE.com.